1957 Rugby League World Cup
|Number of teams||4|
|Winner||Australia (1st title)|
|Attendance||214,918 (35,820 per match)|
|Points scored||204 (34 per match)|
|Top scorer||Brian Carlson (28)|
|Top try scorers|| Mick Sullivan (3)
Ian Moir (3)
Kel O'Shea (3)
The 1957 World Cup marked the 50th anniversary of rugby league in Australia but the hosts were not confident of their ability to lift the trophy, having capitulated in the Ashes series in England barely seven months previously. Great Britain, under Alan Prescott, and boasting world-class backs such as Billy Boston, Mick Sullivan, Jeff Stevenson and Lewis Jones, and a formidable pack, were expected to win with Jacques Merquey's French side a dark horse.
In the end Australia were dominant, winning all matches and were declared the champions by virtue of finishing top of the group – there was no World Cup Final. Best and fairest awards were made to individual nations, the recipients being Gilbert Benausse (France), Brian Carlson (Australia), Phil Jackson (Great Britain) and Bill Sorensen (New Zealand).
Captain/Coach Dick Poole Keith Barnes, Brian Carlson, Brian Clay, Brian Davies, Greg Hawick, Keith Holman, Ken Kearney, Ken McCaffery, Billy Marsh, Ian Moir, Kel O'Shea, Norm Provan, Ray Ritchie, Don Schofield, Tom Tyquin, Alex Watson, Harry Wells
The French squad was:
- Manager: Keith Blow (Canterbury)
- Coach: Bill Telford (Auckland)
|George P Turner||Auckland||CE|
|George Menzies (vc)||West Coast||SO|
|Bill McLennan||West Coast||PR|
|Cliff Johnson (c)||Auckland||SR|
|Sydney Cricket Ground||Brisbane Cricket Ground|
|Capacity: 70,000||Capacity: 48,000|
A magnificent attendance of 50,077 converged on the Sydney Cricket Ground for this game between neutrals France and Great Britain. France was an absolute crowd favourite in Sydney at the time, having entertained successive crowds of 60,000 or more for the previous four Tests played against Australia at the SCG in 1951 and 1955 respectively.
After a close first half the Australians smashed the Lions 31–6. Holman's replacement Ken McCaffery, makeshift fullback Brian Carlson and a dominant Australian pack were the main instruments in the carve-up of the British defence.
This comfortable victory over the French saw Aussie skipper Dick Poole lead his men off the SCG as World Cup champions even before the final game was played on the same ground three days later.
- Paddy McAteer (22 December 2010) "Whole World in their Hands" Archived 5 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine. North West Evening Mail
- Neutral refs have always been a sticky issue[dead link] Sunday Star-Times, 30 November 2008
- "Australia in Rugby Cup Win". The Age. 18 June 1957. p. 14. Retrieved 6 October 2009.